RECENT NEWS

NEW SITES FOR DANIEL SMITH NOW ON THE INTERNET!


Daniel Smith has set up his own MySpace and Facebook pages. Follow the links below to find out more.

Daniel Smith is also now featured on the Jazz Clubs Worldwide website!

Daniel Smith in Top 50 Jazz Charts

Daniel Smith's CD 'Blue Bassoon' went straight in at #22 on the Roots Music Report website.

PERFORMANCES FROM ENGLAND, THE USA AND GERMANY

Summerwinds Festival, Kulturgut Haus Nottbeck (Munster), Germany
August 6, 2010
Summerwinds
Summerwinds  Daniel Smith
Band
Team

In August of 2010, Daniel Smith performed at the annual Summerwinds Festival in Germany with UK musicians Sean Whittle (piano), David Etheridge (bass), and Steve Smith (drums). A sold-out overflow crowd heard them perform selections from his 'Blue Bassoon' album and the earlier jazz albums 'Bebop Bassoon' and 'The Swingin' Bassoon'. After the final number on the programme, the audience would not let the band off the stage; clapping for encores and bringing the band back for several more pieces!

Oxted & Limpsfield Music Society, Limpsfield, Kent, UK. 19th February, 2009

(Classical/Jazz concert)

Daniel Smith - bassoon
Sean Whittle - piano
Russell Swift - bass
Michael Parkin - drums

“A splendid and challenging evening with a difference.”

“The most recent publicity note promised us a programme of Classical and Jazz items by a Classical-Jazz-Crossover bassoonist. What were we to expect? Well, the bassoon came through very clearly as a versatile, mellow and resourceful instrument with a huge range of sound and capability in the right hands. Daniel Smith evidently has those hands and a splendid feel for all the music. The music for the concert, ranging from Jean Baptiste Senaille and Anton Reicha via Mozart, Gordon Jacob, Jerome Kern, Scott Joplin, Count Basie, Tommy Dorsey, and Horace Silver, to name a few, was huge. However, Smith and Whittle covered each style - classical, light music and jazz, with great virtuosity. The audience was treated to short anecdotes by Smith in his New York tones, helping to set the scene for his light-hearted but clearly committed approach to music in all it's forms.

Our introduction to the bassoon as an instrument (all 8 feet of it and it's low Bb!) led us to see it more as a 'Star' rather than playing the supporting role from the middle of the back row of an orchestra. The instrument can interpret the music of a cello, violin, or flute with ease. Not really knowing what to expect, the audience was treated to an evening of a wide spectrum of music in the best possible way. Equally, we were introduced to an instrument which normally takes a 'back seat'.

Daniel Smith really lives and enjoys his music, that was clear. He has a mastery of a vast range. The support from Sean Whittle, who also understands the demands of all types of music, was splendid. For the all-jazz second half of the concert, Russell Swift with his bass and Michael Parkin on drums, helped round out a rhythm section which was needed for jazz of this quality.

All in all, it proved to be a splendid and challenging evening with a difference.”

- Steven Shaw


Ayr Music Club, UK, 7th March 2009



Daniel Smith with Jonathan Still, piano

“An enthusiastic audience at Ayr Music Club on 7th March 2009 enjoyed a varied programme of music for Bassoon and Piano by Daniel Smith and Jonathan Still.

Through a range of items from the baroque to dazzling transcriptions of 19th Century operatic arias, Mr Smith demonstrated the grandeur of this noble instrument, from the sonority of its lowest notes up to the ethereal heights, with particularly impressive and agile fingering in the virtuoso passages.

The sonata by William Hurlestone is worth a special mention, which also allowed the pianist to shine, and a riotous transcription of the Largo al factotum rounded off the evening.”


Kitano Jazz Club, NYC, USA. March 18 2009

See 'Daniel Smith: Live at the Kitano' on YouTube.

“An evening of superb musicianship”

“March 18 at the Kitano brought something special - a quartet headed by Daniel Smith, a classically trained bassoonist who has revived the instrument in a jazz context, continuing the legacy of Yusef Lateef and Illinois Jacquet. Along with Mr. Smith came a sterling rhythm section and guest guitarist, but the audience's attention was clearly on the bassoon. After a few minutes, the ears accommodated the strange timbre (just as listeners did when Coltrane started playing the soprano.) The audience did just that, and showed its appreciation for an evening of superb musicianship.”

- Fred Cohen, The Jazz Record Center, NYC

 

Blue Bassoon

Daniel Smith : Blue Bassoon

Recorded in NYC with an all-star band, BLUE BASSOON features - along with Daniel's regular quartet - Bob Dylan's guitarist Larry Campbell as special guest artist.

Read more about BLUE BASSOON



Daniel Smith - Recording Blue Bassoon

See 'Daniel Smith - Recording The Blue Bassoon' on YouTube.

NEW INTERVIEWS WITH DANIEL SMITH

Daniel Smith was interviewed in the latest editions of 'Jazz Improv' and 'Escutcheon' magazines. Full of revealing insights into Daniel's approach to music and life, you can read the Jazz Improv article here and the Escutcheon interview here.

WORLD PREMIERE OF ROBERT FARNON'S BASSOON CONCERTO 'ROMANCING THE PHOENIX'


Sept. 13, 2009
The Forum Theatre, Malvern, UK


Daniel Smith was featured soloist in the world premiere of Robert Farnon's jazz-oriented bassoon concerto 'Romancing the Phoenix' on Sept.13, 2009. Daniel was supported by the renowned Chandos Symphony Orchestra, led by Michael Lloyd, at the 850 seat Forum Theatre in Malvern (UK)

The 25 minute, three movement concerto, featured enlarged wind sections as well as a jazz rhythm trio of piano, bass and drums on stage alongside the full orchestra. Included within the movements were improvisational sections featuring Daniel with the jazz trio.

Shortly before his untimely death in 2005, Robert Farnon sought out Daniel Smith with this concerto in mind. Calling it the 'best' piece of music he ever wrote, Farnon wrote the concerto, which required virtuosity in both the classical and jazz idioms, with the unique skills of Daniel Smith in mind.

Warner Chappell has published the score and parts of Robert Farnon's dedication to Daniel Smith on the title page. As the only piece of music written by Robert Farnon which had never been performed in public, this concerto premiere was a fitting tribute to the memory of one of the 20th century's greatest composer/arrangers.

 

The bassoon concerto was Robert Farnon's last work, finished shortly before his death in 2005. Canadian-born but British-based, Farnon was a renowned composer and orchestrator of light music, arranging and conducting albums for Frank Sinatra, Sarah Vaughn and George Shearing among others. He wrote the concerto for US bassoonist Daniel Smith, whose dual career as a classical bassoonist and leader of a jazz quartet marked him out as the ideal candidate to premiere the piece that adopts a jazz-influenced style and includes a jazz rhythm section.

The timing of Farnon's death helps to explain the premiere's delay until 2009, as Smith explains: 'When he died unexpectedly early in 2005, it fell on my shoulders to follow up and try to get premieres and performances lined up, which was not an easy task to do starting from scratch.' Fortunately though, there had been enough time for composer and soloist to discuss the piece together, in the final weeks of Farnon's life. 'when I flew to Guernsey, he showed me a work in progress and I offered input and ideas. Within a very short time, he had it all finished. I had the opportunity to fly again to Guernsey (this time to meet him in the hospital where he was recovering from surgery) and I played the entire piece for him. He gave me a good idea of how the piece was to be performed. Within a month or so of this meeting, he died in his sleep and this was the only opportunity to to find out what he had in mind in regard to his concept of the concerto.'

The bassoon might not be he obvious choice to lead the line in a jazz-inflected concerto - and the piece is a reworking of an earlier version for saxophone. Consequently, the technical challenges include playing high up on the tenor clef, while amplification is used to help the soloist carry over expanded wind and string sections. Nevertheless, as Smith reveals, 'Farnon seemed to be very fond of the bassoon, and always wanted to do this piece once he located a bassoonist adept at in both the classical and jazz idioms.

' 'The use of a rhythm section alongside soloist and orchestra embeds the the duality of musical styles into the structure of the piece. It appears in each movement, but is particularly prominent in the finale: 'The orchestra fades into the background allowing for a jazz quartet setting with several choruses of improvisation, leading back to the full orchestra.'

He hopes to perform subsequent national premieres in countries including Germany, Luxembourg and his native USA. But he is also keen to hear from other UK orchestras interested in programming the piece: 'We hope that this will be the case given that the music appeals to both classical and jazz audiences, as well as being a fitting, ongoing testimony to the musical genius and legacy of Robert Farnon.'

- Chris Elcombe, Classical Music

The world premiere of Robert Farnon's Bassoon Concerto was performed at the Forum Theatre, Malvern on 13th September 2009. Soloist Daniel Smith was accompanied by the Chandos Symphony Orchestra under Michael Lloyd.

Read the Sequenza 21 review of the world premiere of Robert Farnon's bassoon concerto featuring Daniel Smith.

And here are a few other reviews:

BIRMINGHAM POST Sept. 24, 2009

 'Phoenix rose to glorious final' For the Chandos Symphony and conductor Michael Lloyd, this was a new experience, and one I am sure they will want to repeat! Completed just before Farnon's death in 2005, 'Romancing the Phoenix' was written for the American virtuoso bassoonist Daniel Smith, a multi-talented performer equally adept in classical music, jazz and crossover. And it was these unique qualities which shaped and informed the concerto, by integrating and contrasting the bassoon with full orchestra and a jazz trio. After the lush string writing of the opening Andante Moderato, the concerto then lifted off into brass-led big band territory along with jazz piano, bass and drums, reserving it's big moments with the amplified soloist pitted against full brass- until the very end. There were jazz excitements along the way, including a very punchy improvised cadenza. The best moment however, came in the concluding bars, with a flying scamper of bassoon and orchestra woodwind culminating in a glorious Mahlerian tamtam clang. The Phoenix rose to a glorious finale!
David Hart

  JOURNAL INTO MELODY Issue No. 181, Dec. 2009

'Daniel Smith rose to the occasion magnificently' As many Robert Farnon Society members will no doubt agree, Robert Farnon's serious works become considerably more enjoyable when heard several times. His writing is often so complex, and his harmonies frequently unexpected, that a first encounter does not always reveal a new work in it's full splendor. An audience accustomed to the works of Beethoven, Wagner and Mozart must have at first found the experience in Malvern Sunday evening something of a cultural shock...but the applause at the end indicated that the audience members were very glad to have been present at this world premiere. Daniel Smith, for whom Farnon wrote and dedicated the piece, rose to the occasion magnificently.
David Ades

 BIRMINGHAM POST Sept. 10, 2009

'Robert Farnon's 'light music' not to be sniffed at' The most interesting part of the evening's music was the world premiere of the bassoon concerto 'Romancing the Phoenix' by the elegant composer Robert Farnon with American bassoon virtuoso Daniel Smith as soloist. Smith is a versatile player whose repertoire ranges from the Baroque to jazz, where his playing has prompted comparisons with baritone saxophonist Gerry Mulligan.
— Christopher Morley


Daniel Smith gave an exclusive interview to ‘Journal Into Melody’ about his meeting with Robert Farnon – published in Issue 165, September 2005.

Daniel Smith's performance at the press launch of his CD 'The Swingin' Bassoon' received great reviews.


Here are two of them:

"If jazz bassoonist Daniel Smith comes to play in your back yard - go and hear him. You’ve never heard anything like it before!"


THAME (pronounced “tame”) is a charming old market town in the county of Oxfordshire, close to the Chiltern Hills and just 14 miles east of Oxford, UK. This week, the town was anything but “tame” when jazz bassoonist DANIEL SMITH and THE JONATHAN GEE TRIO appeared at JAZZ EDDIE’S CONCERT JAZZ event in Thame Concert Jazz Club.

Jazz bassoon? Well - why not?! As a bassoon player myself, I have the greatest admiration for Daniel Smith’s expertise and musicianship with this unique sounding beautiful instrument. As Daniel points out to the audience “there is no role model for the jazz bassoonist”. He gave an excellent demonstration of how to bend notes and made the comment that classically trained musicians and those who know nothing about jazz tell him he is sometimes out of tune when playing jazz bassoon. What Daniel actually does is bend notes and inflect like a tenor saxophone player. This is a foreign sound to our ears and heard “live” on stage is wonderful. Jazz HAS to be heard live. Listening to a CD can never ever replace the excitement of that moment when you hear and watch talented folk play right in front of you. That magical moment can never be repeated. However, next best thing has to be owning Daniel’s latest CD “The Swingin’ Bassoon”. Buy it. Listen to it and then go and hear him play live.

The evening just got better and better. Daniel was superbly supported by Jonathan Gee on keyboard, Steve Rose on double bass and Winston Clifford on drums. The Jonathan Gee Trio have been working together for several years performing at jazz venues and festivals throughout the UK & Europe. They have played regularly at Ronnie Scott’s Club in London and supported many great players.

If jazz bassoonist Daniel Smith comes to play in your back yard - go and hear him. You’ve never heard anything like it before!

Catriona M M Webster

Daniel Smith at Thame Concert Jazz Club 28 Nov 2007

"The audience was spellbound with the lovely lyrical and warm tonal quality Daniel Smith achieved from his deep voiced instrument playing great jazz standards."

Born in the USA, Daniel Smith, spent his early years listening to the great giants of jazz such as Count Basie in his home town New York City.

Classically trained, he has with this background, successfully crossed over seamlessly to the jazz world with his mastering of a cumbersome and somewhat ungainly instrument 'the bassoon.'

The audience was spellbound with the lovely lyrical and warm tonal quality daniel smith achieved from his deep voiced instrument playing great jazz standards. Indeed, I was so impressed with his new cd, he kindly gave me, that I played three tracks, something I have never done before.

Daniel was ably backed up with pianist Jonathan Gee on keyboards, Steve Rose on double bass and Winston Clifford on drums, who made an altogether delightful evening of jazz at Jazz Eddies great venue at Thame, Oxon, England.

Dave Self, Radio Jazz Presenter & Producer / tvu . Blast 1386. (On the web) & Stoke Mandeville Hospital Radio.

All about …

Daniel Smith's recordings of 'Killer Joe' and 'Scrapple from the Apple' are ranked 5th and 15th respectively in the All About Jazz top 200 downloads of all time.

HOME | LATEST NEWS | BIOGRAPHY | APPEARANCES | JAZZ ALBUMS | RECORDINGSVIDEOSREVIEWSMANAGEMENT | ARTICLES

? 2001-2015     
Webmaster